For previous A-Z entries, please visit: The A-Z of Football Manager.
Today’s guest author is @GTSKirk!
Do you want to experience a whole new dimension of Football Manager? To fall in love with your staff in a way you never thought possible? To experience levels of immersion, tension and euphoria beyond anything you’ve encountered before? Then strap in while Kirk Sheridan takes you on a season-long journey with his Assistant Manager at Everton, Antony Clarke.
KS: Antony, it’s a pleasure to meet you. I’ve just become Everton’s Director of Football.
AC: What? How?
KS: It’s a workaround, just go with it. Anyway, I would like to offer you the job of first team manager.
KS: Well, kind of. I mean, I can only offer you an Assistant Manager contract and pay you peanuts, but I’ll totally leave you in charge of team selection, training, team talks and match tactics. And I promise I’ll fire you if the results are rubbish. Do you want the job or not?
AC: Well, I’m just a new gen staff member without any employment history before the age of 40, so sure. I’m in.
KS: Hey, Antony, you’re going to love this! I know we’ve just taken over an Everton team that were relegated to the Championship last year, and I’ve sold all our biggest assets, replaced them with a bunch of kids and some unknowns from abroad, the fans hate us for selling the best members of the squad, and we’re no longer odds-on favourites to go straight back up. But I’ve found you a striker.
AC: Are you sure?
AC: He scored one goal last season.
KS: That’s because he was playing on the wing.
AC: You’ve seen evidence of that?
AC: How much did he cost?
KS: Fifteen million pounds.
KS: How’s our striker getting on?
AC: Four goals in his first five games.
KS: I’m a genius.
AC: Yes boss.
KS: Antony, can I have a word?
AC: Of course, boss. What’s up?
KS: I’ve just taken a look at your most recent training reports, and I want to check you’re okay.
AC: I’m fine. Why?
KS: Did you know you’re training our best defensive midfielder as a deep lying playmaker?
AC: Yes, it’s his best role.
KS: I understand that, but you’ve been picking him as a central defender on match days. Wouldn’t it make sense to train him in a position you’re actually playing him in so he becomes more comfortable in the role?
AC: I don’t think so.
KS: Not even a little bit?
KS: Maybe I should take charge of his training for a month then.
AC: But you told me I’m the Manager.
AC: Boss, our best centre back isn’t good enough to be a star player anymore. We should make him a regular starter instead.
KS: Yes, you’re probably right.
AC: Can you tell him then?
KS: Why me?
AC: Because I only select the training plan, choose the team, motivate the players, pick the tactic, make the substitutions and handle the team talks. You get to do all the stuff that will make the players hate you.
KS: I don’t like this workaround.
AC: I need you to do me a favour, boss.
KS: Of course, what’s up?
AC: I need you to tell me to play with full backs instead of wing backs.
KS: What? Why?
AC: Because I can’t tell me to.
KS: Hold on. It doesn’t matter what tactic you’re training with during the week, you’ve picked your own tactic every single match day. And it’s nearly always different to what you trained for.
AC: I know.
KS: So why can’t you just choose the match tactic to train with during the week as well?
AC: What did you say earlier? That word… Oh yes. It’s a workaround.
AC: Boss, why have you used up so much of your holiday already this year.
KS: Well, you see, it’s a funny story… I have to go on holiday on match days otherwise they make me take charge of the squad selection and tactics instead of you.
AC: Who’s they?
KS: The game.
AC: What game?
KS: Football Manager.
AC: I’m the football manager.
KS: Technically you’re an assistant manager.
AC: Are you saying your better than me?
KS: I’m going on holiday.
AC: How did our winter transfer business go, boss?
KS: Oh, Antony, you’re going to be so pleased. I’ve found you a 20-year-old wonderkid from Argentina. He’s already the second-best player at the club, can play on the left wing or up front and. I have no doubt he’s going to be an absolute superstar.
AC: Wow, that’s amazing, thanks boss!
KS: Just one thing, Antony.
AC: What is it, boss?
KS: I might have got a bit excited and not realised he can’t play for us until next season.
AC: How much did he cost?
KS: Eight million pounds.
KS: Antony, today is a special day. I’m going to join you at our stadium to watch a match with you live!
AC: Oh boss, that’s brilliant! Shall we head to the ground together?
KS: No. I’m going on holiday.
AC: What? You just said you’re going to the match.
KS: I’m sending a doppelganger. I still have to go on holiday.
AC: A doppelganger.
KS: Yes. Looks like me, smells like me, but can’t talk so there’s no chance of him usurping your authority on match day.
AC: So, you’ll be on holiday?
AC: And will your doppleganger be sat in your office with you during the week when we’re not playing a match?
KS: Don’t be absurd. He’ll be on holiday.
AC: Hey boss, I’ve found someone who I think would make a great Director of Football for us. You should speak to him after our staff meeting.
KS: Antony, I’ve told you before, I’m the Director of Football.
KS: Yes, and you’re the Manager.
AC: I’m not the Assistant Manager?
AC: And you’re not the Manager?
KS: No, I’m Director of Football.
AC: Oh, I’ve found a really good candidate to become our Director of Football…
KS: Congratulations, Antony! You just led Everton to the Championship title with a record points total!
AC: I know.
KS: And you set a record for most wins in a Championship season!
AC: I know.
KS: The board are praising you for your incredible achievements!
KS: Yes, Antony?
AC: Why have I not been nominated for the Manager of the Year award?
AC: And why are you on the favoured personnel list but I’m not?
KS: I’m sorry, Antony. I told you earlier, it’s a workaround.
If you want to see Antony and Kirk in action, and learn how to play as the Director of Football yourself, visit https://www.youtube.com/@gamestellstories